Monthly Archives: March 2008

Is the weather confused?


If I didn’t know any better, I’d say we’re still smack dab in the middle of winter. We had a few beautiful days in a row this week with weather warm enough for short sleeves. However, I woke up yesterday to a cold and gray day. Today is cold, gray, and rainy. It’s hard to believe it was spring a few days ago.

I’m still going forward with some spring designs and preparing for the craft show in May even though I want to cuddle up under a blanket on the couch and eat cookies and drink tea. Thankfully, my being on the front page the other day is still fueling my desire to sit and make wonderful things. I did a few bracelets today and might sit down to a few pairs of earrings like the ones above.

Today would have been a perfect day to work on some promotional items I’m sending down to TwistedPurl for her weekend at Toad Suck Days (yes, it’s Toad Suck Days) later this season. But alas, I’m at the mercy of Zazzle while waiting on my new business cards to get here. I’m planning on tying coupons to business cards. The cards have pictures of my items so hopefully that will entice people to come do a bit of shopping on my Etsy shop. It will be my first time to send some promo items to another shop owner to pass out and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to do so. Thanks, TwistedPurl!

15 Minutes of Fame

For a portion of this afternoon, I felt like a celebrity. No, not the kind who go to rehab before they are even old enough to legally drink, but the Etsy kind. A fellow member of AREtsy and my coworker, BeadedBombshell, let me in on a little secret this afternoon. One of my bracelets had made it to the front page.

WHAT? My bracelet? Front page?

In a moment of disbelief, I found myself fumbling across the keyboard to make it to the Etsy front page. There it was – Desert Oasis sitting on the front page amongst some beautiful items in an incredible treasury. The treasury was created by Zygopsyche and can be found HERE.

It is amazing how many views my little bracelet received and how many “hearts” both my shop and the bracelet took away from this experience.

Of course, the front page is short lived and life goes back to normal once the next fabulous page of goodies goes up, but it was fun while it lasted. And in case you don’t believe me, see below for yourself!

Looking the Part

I believe a huge part of sales is looking the part. I spent a brief (very brief) portion of my college days selling Mary Kay makeup. Needless to say, I was not successful in that, unless my goal was to get myself hooked on make up I could not afford on a regular salary. It was not a complete loss, I did manage to learn that looking the part is a huge part of selling “stuff” to people. In Mary Kay, I learned that I wasn’t going to sell overpriced makeup to my friends in college, so I needed to look like I was an up and coming young woman in the workplace, dress nicely, wear that makeup, look put together. It was then when I felt like I matched what I sold and could go anywhere and sell anything.

Well, school took up too much time and I gave up the Mary Kay pink Cadillac dream.

Now I find myself selling my handmade goodies. None of my items are very traditional but none over the top funky. However, they are hip, stylish, and fun. I certainly don’t need to have the Mary Kay look to sell these, but a look is important. As I said before, my handmade goodies are not over the top funky, but they do tend to hang out with the funky crowd when out at a party so I need to look slightly the part when selling in person or at shows or I’ll look totally out of place.
The outfit is easy, simple top with jeans and some colorful shoes. The accessories are easy, my most fabulous bracelets and earrings. And now, thanks to Punkinhead, the apron is a cinch! She custom made a craft show apron for me and I could not be more excited to show it off to all of you. While I still have a ways to go with product for my next show, I really can’t wait for it to get here so I can strut around in my new apron. It will complete my look and it is just what I wanted. Better yet, it’s one of a kind!

Punkinhead will be listing a few aprons over the next couple of weeks, so check out her shop, you won’t want to be without one of these.

Things for a Gardener

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this a few times, but gardening season has begun. I had started some seeds a few weeks ago and I’ve found it in myself to rake some pine needles away from what will be my herb garden, but that is where it ends for now. Other than planting the herbs (I’ll wait until it’s a wee bit warmer) and the arugala (scheduled for tomorrow), I have nothing left to do but wait. The seeds will need to grow for a couple of weeks indoors before being ready to move outside to aclimate them to that environment.

In the meantime, I have plenty of garden type things to do indoors. I’ve been knitting up a few spring inspired wire bracelets and making some bright colored earrings. I’ve also been browsing Etsy for some delightful spring/garden inspired items that might end up making it to my backyard before all is said an done.

The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to handmade for the garden. There are birdhouses from PapaPots, plant markers from ArtisanHands, flower pots and so much more. I have a feeling a lot of my gardening budget will be going to artists on Etsy this year.

Happy Spring

I have about three minutes left to welcome spring to the Northern Hemisphere. I’m sure that my blog will state that I posted this on March 21, but I assure you, it’s still March 20. I’ve been both looking forward to spring and also dreading the end of my beloved cold weather. I love winter, scarves, snow, cold nights, frost on the grass, I love it all! However, I do love spring, seed planing, flowers, afternoons in the hammock, and grilling out.

Spring will bring a wealth of new color combinations to my shop as well as to my life. I already have some seeds sprouting in my dining room just dying to go outside and grow. Those will someday turn into tomatoes of all colors and perhaps that will lead to jewelry in delicious shades of pink, red, green, purple, white… yes, all of those colors. I have a think for heirloom tomatoes and look forward to duplicating the look with beads and wire. I’m positive it can be done.

Well, I better get this post up before the first day of spring is just a memory of yesterday.

Enough Already

Carnival – Kaleidoscope Earrings (will they be the 50th item sold from my shop?)

I’ve had a major case of the pooh-poohs lately. I’ve pooh-poohed about the lack of sales the past couple of weeks, pooh-poohed about the lack of inspiration (I still want to take that trip to Austin), and I’ve just pooh-poohed in general (my closet’s a mess, I haven’t been able to get my garden ready for spring, my spring shoe collection is the pits, etc etc etc). Enough of that already.

I’ll be taking a three day vacay from work this week – making a total of 5 days off. I’ll be able to un pooh-pooh everything during that time. My garden will see my smiling face, my closet will be organized, I might even buy a pair of shiny new spring shoes, and for goodness sakes, I sold two items tonight so NO pooh-poohing about my shop.

I do have some major crafting plans for my 5 days of vacation but I’m not going to let it consume all of the hours. R and I have some plans to hit up Eureka Springs for a day and that only leaves a few days for gardening and I have HUGE plans for the garden. Perhaps I’ll find some inspiration out there. Perhaps while in the garden I’ll sell item number 50 in my shop? Hmmmm???

Inspiration Needed – apply within

An Austin, TX sunset complete with matching car – taken February 2005

I think I need some new inspiration. I’ve just about exhausted the views of the Boston mountains (part of the Ozarks) from my window. I’ve exhausted spring in NW Arkansas, winter in NW Arkansas, fall in NW Arkansas, and anything else, in NW Arkansas.

Perhaps a trip to my beloved Austin, TX is in order? Surely I could find some new inspiration there. There’s plenty of burnt orange (a favorite color of mine not because it belongs to my beloved alma mater, but because I look darned good in it), plenty of rolling hills, great food (a bracelet inspired by summer tomato salsa anyone?), naked hippies, and amazing sunsets as seen from the patio at Oasis.

Yes, a trip down south is just what I need. Now to hit up the old roomie for a bed to crash on.

*note about Hippie Hollow – go to www.hippiehollow.com if you are interested in reading more, but I warn you, you might run into some nudity.

Wolly Goodness!

Goodness is right! I’ve recently drained my beloved PayPal account on some wool batts from Hobbledehoy. I couldn’t control myself. I’ve purchased a few things from her in the past and was instantly hooked. She announces her shop updates on her blog and those announcements have been the end of me.

Her colors are gorgeous and many of her batts have a bit of sparkle carded in for fun. I’ve just started spinning up a bonus batt I received from her with my first order. It’s a deep purple blended with some camel down and is just LOVELY. I’ve been wanting a dark, but not black, neck warmer for next year and this yarn just might end up being made into just such a thing.

I need to be making bracelets before I start spinning this wool into yarn but it’s going to be hard to control the urge. I have to remind myself, “the bracelets will make me money at the show in May… yarn is just for fun.”

Speaking of shows, I’ve found out about another one here in NW Arkansas that might have a low booth fee and absolutely NO commercial items. I’ve requested more information from the organizers and will post some info if it sounds worth it.

A Bit of a Makeover

After taking many batches of photos for my Etsy shop that I was quite proud of, I figured it was time to get rid of the unsavory photos and replace them all. Anytime I use the word “replace” that usually means it will take the bulk of my day to do. This was no exception.

I took a plethora of pictures and took many minutes uploading all of them, editing them, cropping, etc etc etc, and finally, I had a batch I liked. Now to just load them up on to Etsy. I’m still working on that right now as that is the longest process.

Prior to my picture extravaganza this afternoon, I planted my pepper and tomato seeds. They will settle down in my dining room for a few more weeks until it’s warm enough outside to start setting them out on the porch during daylight hours. I was a bit more picky and choosy with my seeds this year. Last year I have weird hopes of having more tomatoes than I could throw a shoe at. What that resulted in was, well, more tomato plants than I could throw a shoe at and not very many tomatoes because I couldn’t keep up with the up keep. I’ll do better about that this year. As soon as they start to sprout, I get some lovely pictures taken for all to see.

Off to finish the shop update and start on some yarn.

Movies tonight business tomorrow

Tonight was spent napping through Good Eats (something was wrong, I never sleep through Good Eats) and then eating take out Chinese food while watching Empire Strikes Back. Not a bit of crafting was accomplished and you know, it felt okay. I did packaged up the bracelet that was given away on Subu’s blog this week. It’s off to a new home.

Tomorrow will be spent working on Etsy things, craft show things and some hand spun yarn. I have some delicious wool on its way to me from Hobbledehoy but still have some delicious wool from a previous purchase that needs spinning. My first batch of plied yarn (see above) wasn’t completely horrible. Actually, I like it a lot. It has some parts that are too thick for me but I was learning and I think I know what to do next time to not have those. I absolutely love the colors (my favorite part about it). I bought the roving from Twisted Purl and she’s also helped me out a lot via internet on spinning. I’ve been known to ask her a few questions every now and then and even if she can’t see me in person messing up my yarn, she always tries to answer my questions and I usually come out on the other side with something a bit better than before. She spins as well and her yarn is amazing!

Perhaps I’ll get some pictures of the wool I have tomorrow and post. A bit of before and after never hurt anyone.

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